Human Interest

Traffic Reporter Receives Dresses From Gabrielle Union After Body Shaming Went Viral...And She Looks Amazing!

"Some people feel the rain, others get wet."

For me, those words were just another affirmation that I saw on an episode of Being Mary Jane. What I had not considered was how powerful those words were when two different women applied them to their own lives.


You might remember the news story about Demetria Obilor, a Dallas news anchor, that became the topic of conversation after a Facebook commenter body shamed her and slammed her for having what she referred to as “a size 16/18 woman in a size 6 dress”.  According to additional comments left by the troll, the prior traffic reporter dressed far more conservative and Demetria needed to take note.

The social media post quickly went viral and ended with Demetria walking away with positive vibes and lots of love from thousands of supporters, including celebrities, like Chance the Rapper and one of our favorite xoMentors, Gabrielle Union.

When Gabrielle Union got wind of the story, she wrote a touching Instagram post to Demetria for her strength and pegged her "The Real Mary Jane," referencing the character from her hit BET show.  She also revealed that she would be personally sending a new wardrobe from her exclusive New York & Company collection to "traffic bae."

She wrote:

Sending love, light and support to Dallas News Anchor Demetria Obilor who was recently body shamed online. YOU are the real life Mary Jane… A go-getter news anchor who dresses DOPE and doesn’t give a s*** what everyone else thinks. Keep on kicking ass and taking names queen. We love you just the way you are! And since you slay everything you wear, I’m sending you a bunch of pieces from my @nyandcompany collection and some credit for extra pieces!

Gabrielle stood by her word, because this week Demetria posted up in the clothes and she looked absolutely stunning!

She wrote on Instagram:

MANY thanks to @gabunion and her team for coming through with the beautiful dresses from the Gabrielle Union for @nyandcompany collection! Feeling like Miss Mary Jane herself! 😍thank you so much! 💋

Werk, sis!

Demetria recently gave an exclusive to Elle where she shared her thoughts about people trying to police her body and her appearance and about how much further society needs to move as a whole in order to truly be progressive:

There’s so much that’s "unacceptable." Your hair needs to be straight; if it’s curly or an afro it’s unprofessional. If you have curves, you need to wear a huge fit-and-flare dress to hide them, because it’s too big or too sensual or too erotic. I shouldn’t have to wear a potato sack to make you feel comfortable. I've heard people say, “Well, you’re in Texas now. We’re more conservative.” So you’re telling me that every time I travel to a different state, I have to assimilate to its cultural norms and values in order to be accepted? That’s not what America stands for. America is supposed to be a melting pot based on freedom from religious persecution and cultural persecution. Don’t tell me I have to assimilate.

I have a really thick skin, so you’re not going to catch me crying because you said I look a certain way in a dress or I look fat. I put myself out there to show other women:

Hey, this is okay.

Shouts to Demetria for standing up for herself and being a great example for young women looking to work in the vicious entertainment industry!

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In 2011 -- a year following my divorce, I met a young man who I felt could mend my heart.

He was tall, dark, handsome, well spoken and well liked -- everything a girl could dream of on paper. In the beginning there was light, a light of hope for a new love. But as time went by, the relationship spun into darkness. Whether it was the dish I cooked, shirt I picked out, or the way I answered him, it was as if nothing I did was good enough. In fact, his dissatisfaction only made me want to work harder and do more to please.

I recall times when he'd squeeze my wrist a little too hard in public as a warning, leaving bruises -- but it was my fault because I was fragile or bruised "easily." Or the time he dislocated my shoulder and I had to lie to my child because I didn't want her to worry. Each time letting him come back because he appeared to be remorseful and willing to change. But that was only the beginning.

In 2012, I faced an unplanned pregnancy. I had just lost my job and I was struggling to pay the rent. To top it off, the father of my child had given me an ultimatum (as he was "not ready" to be a father)... it was "him or the baby." So, as you can imagine, I was struggling with the decision of bringing a beautiful new babe into my chaotic world. After all, I was already a single mother with one divorce under my belt, living check to check -- now couch surfing, all the while awaiting the big day. I felt as if the weight of the world was sitting on my shoulders -- better yet, my chest!

Although I told my ex where he could put his ultimatum, he came back around to see our child's birth. And while my gut told me to "RUN" in the other direction, I took him back out of fear. Fear of what I thought would be failing yet another child. "You can't do this alone," he said. "You need me," he said. I believed him. For a few months, things appeared to be different. Until the pressure of fatherhood began to sink in. Then the drinking, cheating, lying, and abuse began to resurface.

Oddly enough, it took one fight (like so many before) to get me to LOOK UP. "You don't do sh*t for your kids," he said. "I don't even want to be here but now we have this baby." -- "I gave you an ultimatum but I'm still here. So why wouldn't you want to make it work?" he continued. As if he was doing me a favor.

Holding my baby close, I quickly scanned the room at the home I had built for "us." It was MY blood, sweat, and tears that went into making this home, I thought to myself. At that moment, I knew I'd be damned if I allowed this to continue. I would never want this for my daughters, so why am I endorsing it for myself?

As he proceeded to punch the wall, it was as if the three years preceeding the fight flashed before my eyes. I pictured myself laying on the ground in shock like years before... but this time, it was my child crying beside me. "He's got to go," I whispered to myself. With tears streaming down my face, my hands shaking, and my body quivering in fear, I opened the front door and with everything in me yelled, "GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!"

A few insults later, he managed to make it out the front door and I hit the floor... in prayer. I was ashamed. Not just because I saw this coming. But because I had been here too many times before. Although I am a different person today. There are still some days where I wish I could go back an avoid all of the pain.. much of which I am still working through today.

So, as part of the healing process, I've created a list of dating advice I'd give my younger self:

Fall in love with yourself first.

Don't spend your days in search of a partner to "complete" you. Discover what makes you SPIRITUALLY, emotionally, intellectually, and physically whole first and foremost. Then, when you do meet someone special, ask yourself, "Is this person adding or subtracting from my life" -- "Do they build me up or break me down?" I think Oprah said it best. Don't spend your life searching for the perfect person. Work to make yourself the perfect person for YOU, and then... only then, will "the right person be drawn to you based upon the work that you put out."

[Tweet "First, discover what makes you spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically whole."]

If someone tells you're they're not good for you, believe them and RUN.

You cannot save everyone! While mending the brokenhearted is practically embedded in your DNA, people are who they are. Some people are going to destroy themselves, no matter how much you try to "help" them. If someone says that they are "no good" for you, or "trouble," take that at face value and run the other way. Just because you are open and capable of love does not mean the one you "want" is ready for love. You will deplete yourself by trying to "heal" this person -- which in the end, will do you more harm than good.

Trust your intuition.

It's trying to protect you! Never stop sharing your love; that's why you were put on this Earth. But sometimes real love means saying goodbye. It takes much more courage to let something go than it does to hold tight -- or try to "fix" it. Letting go doesn't mean you're ignoring the situation. It simply means you're accepting what is, exactly as it is, without fear, opposition, or desire for control.

[Tweet "Trust your intuition. It's trying to protect you."]

Talk it out!

As difficult as this may be sometimes, do NOT keep your feelings bottled up! People are not mind readers. They should not have to jump through hoops to uncover when and how they have wronged you. Pass on the fit of tears over dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and open the floor to a grown-up discussion at an appropriate time in private. Learn how to separate the person from the issue. Be soft on the person but firm on the issue. If you want to find long-term relationship success, you're going to have to learn how to communicate.

Forgive yourself.

Life didn't come with instructions. You are not your mistakes. You are not your struggles. You are here NOW with the power to shape your tomorrow. Take all the time you need to heal. The key to breaking free from your broken self, is baby steps -- taking it one day at a time. Never let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life. Just because today is painful doesn't mean tomorrow won't be great. You WILL get there.

What advice would you give your younger self? Do share!

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